Guest Post: Facebook Takeovers by Robbie Cox
Robbie Cox lives in sunny Florida where he spends his days taxiing his family to various places while jotting down the many crazy thoughts inside his head. While the girls (his affectionate name for the three ladies he lives with) and he enjoy traveling, they prefer to do it with great friends and their family. Most often they can be found at home grilling out and sharing a laugh with those who matter most to them.
He enjoys a freelance career writing for several magazines, sharing some of his interesting viewpoints on life and those around him. He can usually be found on his back porch, his peaceful haven, watching the squirrels chittering at the birds, while he enjoys a cigar, a scotch, and the many characters that talk to him inside his head.
His manuscripts have appeared in religious, parenting and retirement magazines, along with a ghost story or two. He is the author of the short story, Circle of Justice, the novella, Reaping the Harvest, a collection of personal essays entitled A Confused Life, and an erotic romance, Losing Faith. Feel free to visit, strike up a chat and share a story or two with him.
There seems to be at least two or three every day, Facebook takeover events for new releases, cover reveals, or just to get together and share with new readers and other authors. There may be some who don’t care to participate in these events, perhaps thinking them silly or a nuisance. Or perhaps they just don’t understand what they truly accomplish. Is it a gimmick? Well, yeah. But there is nothing wrong with gimmicks if they help you accomplish your goal and no one is getting hurt. And in a Facebook Takeover, no one gets hurt while some lucky few get the opportunity to win some swag, a free book or two, or even gift cards. It’s a way for an author to get his/her name out there to people who may not have ever heard of them before. Does it work? Yes! Sometimes better than others, but the results are always positive. After every event that I’ve been a part of, there has been an increase in Facebook likes at the Mess as well as a spike in sales that are a direct result of the takeover. The reward is enough that we’ll keep doing them and recommending them to other authors.
However, in order for a takeover to be a success there are a few things that the girls and I think are necessary, for authors and readers alike. That’s what I want to share with you today. I hope they help, because I want us all to succeed as we chase our dreams.
First, make sure the event is scheduled far enough in advance to build some excitement for it. Then, invite everyone you know who loves books. Authors should get their street teams involved, not only in the event but also in inviting people to the event. A good statistic to remember is that about ten percent of the total people invited to anything will actually show up. The higher the number of people invited, the more participants you will have.
Second, I think the one hosting the event needs to be active in the event and not just during their timeslot. It shows your interest in other authors, as well, and keeps the participation level high. After all, this is your party. Show up and get crazy with everyone. Furthermore, the other authors should try and pop in and out throughout the event as this gives people who are there to see a certain author a chance to interact with you. This may draw them back during your timeslot and help them get to know you better. The whole idea for participating in these events is exposure, so show up and participate. Let readers see you supporting other authors and they may see you in a different light, drawing them to at least visit your website.
Another thing for authors to do is be prepared. Before I participate in a takeover event, I have everything I am going to post already scripted out, ready for me to just cut and paste. This gives me a chance to check my spelling, punctuation, and word usage. You want to impress readers to give you a chance and if your post looks sloppily written with poor English and grammar, you’re not driving them to you, but pushing them away. First impressions are important. Make sure you give a good one.
This also leaves you free to participate more in the comments with readers without going crazy or missing anything. It’s the interaction that people will remember and you want to leave a fun, pleasant taste in their mouth and memory.
Furthermore, make several posts as opposed to continually posting in one long thread. You’ll lose people if you stay in the comments. No one wants to scroll and scroll and scroll to find out where your games are or where you posted the last tantalizing teaser to you latest book. Give them several posts to look out, which also puts your name out there several times for them to scroll past and keep seeing. Remember, it’s about exposure. They need to see your name several times to remember it.
Watch for lulls in the interaction, as well. If it seems like it’s slowing down, throw another post up, ask a question, or start another game. Don’t allow them to be sucked back into their newsfeeds. If you allow things to slow down, then something else can grab their attention and you’ve lost them. While you don’t want to overstimulate them, you don’t want the participants to grow bored, either. Keep the fun going and they’ll stick around.
These are just a few things that we’ve found helps make a Facebook takeover event successful. I’ve met some fantastic people, readers and authors alike, through these events, and personally, I think they are well worth the time and effort it takes to participate or put one together. Be Prepared. Be Positive. And Be a Participator. You’ll reap the rewards of your time and prizes long after the event is over.